Tales from California's Channel Islands

Educational Resources

Welcome to the Educational Resource website for the documentary film series “West of the West: Tales from California’s Channel Islands.” This site is designed to provide free, accessible information from experts on the content of eleven tales in the film, custom discussion topics, teacher lesson plans for in-class activities created by teachers for teachers. Each Tale can also be streamed on this site and is downloadable, along with images from the film, teacher lesson plans and additional resources relating to each Tale. For “The Lone Woman” and “Cache,” there are 3D scans of artifacts from the islands that are downloadable for printing in classrooms on 3D printers.

For each Tale, you will find a summary of the film segment, teacher lesson plans with headings detailing subject and grade level appropriateness. To download the information on each page, we ask you to please fill out a simple form so we can track the use of the site for our funders. There is no cost. Once you have filled out the short form, you will have access to download the materials.  

The filmmakers are grateful to the experts, teachers, and generous funders listed below who have made this Educational Website possible and free to all teachers and educational institutions.

Visit our “Teach Channel Islands” Facebook Page to share your comments and ideas for additional resources and lesson plans.

Two rich and bountiful resources for anyone interested in the California Channel Islands are the Santa Cruz Island Foundation and the Channel Islands National Park websites. They are perfect complimentary sources to the West of the West Educational Website. You will find a vast collection of history, videos, photos and references on these sites. The Santa Cruz Island Foundation site is also home to Islapedia - a comprehensive site of information on all the Channel Islands.

A presentation of KRCB, Sonoma County, CA and distributed nationwide by American Public Television


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About the Series

Directed by Peter S. Seaman and Brent Sumner

Produced by Sam Tyler
Original Score by Jesse Rhodes
Cinematographer and Editor – Brent Sumner

Available on Public Television 2017-18

The filmmakers are grateful to the experts, teachers, and generous funders listed below who have made this Educational Website possible and free to all teachers and educational institutions. 
This Education Website Supported by:

West of the West was [partially] financed by the County of Santa Barbara's Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund (CREF), a partial mitigation of impacts from the following offshore oil and gas projects: Point Arguello, Point Pedernales, and Santa Ynez Unit.

Presented by the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and the Santa Cruz Island Foundation.

West of the West Education Website Credits:

This educational component for the Tales was initiated and coordinated by Rod Lathim, on behalf of the production team, and by Ellen Barger and Steven Keithley on behalf of the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

Santa Barbara County Education Office (Bill Cirone, Superintendent)

Our Content Experts:

Dr. Tanya Atwater, Geophysicist and Marine Biologist
UC Santa Barbara
Dr. Jon Erlandson, Archaeologist
University of Oregon
Dr. John Johnson, Archaeologist
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Steven Schwartz, US Navy Archaeologist, Retired
Sam Tyler, Filmmaker
Dr. Lotus Vermeer, Marine Biologist
UC Santa Barbara

Project Manager: Rod Lathim
Coordinator of Teacher-Created Lessons and Resources: Steven Keithley
Web Design: Kevin Lee
Website Copy Editor: Melissa J. Broughton, M.Ed.

Film Donors:


280 Kickstarter Donors
Hutton Parker Foundation
Kirby Jones Family Foundation
Venoco, Inc.
SB County CREF
Union Bank
Reiter Foundation
Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation
STS Foundation
Emmett Foundation
Ann Jackson Family Foundation


Mosher Foundation
Santa Barbara Foundation
Deckers Outdoor Corp
Sandra and Sam Tyler
Nini and Peter Seaman
Anne & Michael Towbes
Hank Mitchel
J.S. Bower Foundation
Tina and Bob Gale
Outhwaite Foundation